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Travel Guide to Dipolog City & Dapitan - Tourist Spots, How to go there and Where to stay

Compared to all my travel assignments, my visit to Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte is so far the most I truly appreciate.  It's as if I want to stay for a few more nights because of so many simple reasons that me as a city rat I consider as divine already. Or maybe because my trips have gone more frequent that my body has created a routine for me to easily adapt mentally and physically to a certain new environment. The only hardest part is when it is time to leave. When you are about to say goodbye to the people you've met and place you've called home for sometime. Or worst when the place is so ideal that you wished you have somebody with sharing you the joys that your heart desires.

First is I have never been "so attached" to an accommodation. I have stayed to a lot of these kinds from the cheapest hostels to spending my birthday in a five - star hotel, but the one in Dapitan is such a gem. I stayed in Travelbee Inn, a renovated ancestral slash heritage house. What I liked here is that the ambiance is more like a home than staying in a paid hotel. The lobby and cafe is made of wood decorated by a few Philippine artifacts.  The whole house also features different colors of bougainvillea plants. My mom who has been my travel buddy for a few times, if she is here with me will be ten times happier because she loves plants and flowers. As someone who is a culture and heritage buff this is such a priceless moment. What made my stay even more remarkable is that there is a piano and every night a guest comes in which is a friend of the owner and would play the love songs of yesterday.

For only Php600 I got a wide room which has two beds inside. I asked for one that has one bed only since I am just alone but they said they don't have that.  The room is complete with every functioning amenities: flat-screen tv with cable, heater, aircon and very clean toilet.  I couldn't ask for more.  I just a bit awkward of having two beds so I asked the staff to join them side by side. But when the evening comes that I can feel my bed is queen - size and that my back feels to comfortable for me to lie here all alone, I wish there could have been somebody else beside me here.

I had a good night sleep when I woke up in the morning which was 8 hours full. In the city, I usually have 5-6 hours sleep per day so imagine how I am having the best times of my life. At 6am I took their complimentary two pieces bread with butter and coffee. After that I stayed for a few more hours to go online and check my emails. I don't want to rush myself this is what I am now doing in my trips. Before I used to do all and end up exhausted. But I believe there is always next time to come here. I did not do anything until lunch. I just chatted with the staff and also a few guests who also happened to have their breakfast too.

The most awaited moment comes after lunch which is biking. I was told by the staff that Travelbee Inn is so far the only accommodation in Dapitan where their staying guests can rent a bike for whole day only Php50 to go around and see different places.  I have not rode on a bike for decades already!

Armed only by a paper map I started around 1pm and ended close to 4pm already. That is because I was so tired and darkness is starting to show up.  For the first hour of biking I got lost and then eventually I found my way. I did not get to see all because I focused mainly to the historic places in Dapitan that I should never miss.

Jose Rizal's house during his exile years

This is the one that I vowed not to miss when I get here. I love history and Rizal is one of my favorite subjects when I was a student.  

This is the actual house Rizal, our national hero lived along with her partner Josephine Bracken an Irish girl. I was surprised to not only see one house but a total of seven little houses (casetas) there! He got a small clinic for his patients, two tea houses (separated by gender),  classroom for young boys he teaches, poultry house for the chickens and other animals he receive as payment as a doctor and his kitchen is separated to avoid fire.  I also saw his famous water irrigation system using only bamboo pipes that transports clean water from the hill to his kitchen.  Will write a separate post about it soon.

Here are a few more things I checked out in Dapitan:

Old City Hall - its architectural features are believed to be patterned from Casa Real

City Square  / Plaza - the place which was designed by Rizal
Relief Map of Mindanao - Rizal made this map from Aug to Sep 1892 
Our Lourdes of Grotto - an ancient burial ground during Spanish years

On the way back to Dipolog airport, my heart was jumping with joy when I saw the Tablea Cafe. The last time I dined here was when I solo backpacked in Cebu in 2012. From then I have never forgotten their pure cup of hot cacao powder, a green  slice of mango and a small piece of sticky rice. This is one of my perfect definition of a breakfast meal. I will create a separate blog post of this too. Watch out.

When you are in Dipolog City never ever forget to bring the Montano sardines. It is the healthy version of the sardines. It only costs around Php70 in pasalubong centers. My tip don't buy it at the airport it will cost you four times the price. 

That's it. I am looking forward for my next travel assignment. I pray so. Will let you know where is it going to be soon.


1. If you are on a tight budget like me. I suggest Travelbeen Inn. It is a beutifully restored ancestral located at Maria Clara St. Cor Retiro St. Banonong, Dapitan City.  You can BOOK YOUR STAY HERE WITHOUT A BOOKING CHARGE ADDED 

2. If you have it all, stay at  Dakak Beach Resort, it is a it is a luxury resort set beside the sea and flanked by mountains to the west.

Address: Barangay Taguilon, Dapitan City, 7101 Zamboanga del Norte
Phone:(065) 213 6813

How to go Dipolog from Manila

There's a daily flight that's only good for more than an hour via Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.  When you reach Dipolog City, you can ride in a mini bus or vans that will take you to Dapitan City. It will take you approximately 45 minutes for only Php 25.


  1. Hey there! Would love to go to Dakak beach at Dipolog. Why did you not include it in the list. I heard it is fantastic over there. Mitch

  2. Hey Mitch sorry about not including the Dakak beach. I wasnt able to see it due to short time but thanks anyway will update this post soon and include it :)

  3. I've been to Dipolog-Dapitan twice (for History classes) and it was just amazing! Dakak was absolutely wonderful, too! I'd give everything just to go back. Haha. Thanks for this guide. See you around, Maria! ~Mary

  4. Hey Mary glad you have seen this place so I know I have one person I can totally share the joys of simplicity of living there :)

    Hopefully I get to see the dakak beach too :) been hearing a lot about it there